Our Services Explained
Perfect Design + Perfectly Execution = The Perfect Home
Creating the perfect new home or renovation is the result of a great design being perfectly executed.
There is nothing more heartbreaking than to see a stunning design being poorly built, which is why we offer a full range of Project Management Services for you to choose from.
Our Project Management Services allow you to choose the level of assistance that you need; everything from engaging us to create a stunning Sketch Design for your project right through to overseeing the entire building process and every step in between. No matter what your needs we offer the perfect service that is guaranteed to get you a great result.
Here is an overview of the services that we offer:
The first step is for you to contact our office. One of our friendly staff will then ask you a few basic questions. If Dion is available at this time then your call will be transferred to him, so that you can talk with him in person. Dion will then arrange an appointment time with you for your one on one consultation.
Consultation available at your location will either take the form of our standard Verbal Advice Consultation or our Lifestyle Assessment Consultation if you plan to stay more than 10 years in your home or our Pre-purchase Design Advice Consultation. Dion will explain the investment that is involved with your consultation. You will then be sent a questionnaire to complete prior to meeting with Dion at your property. This will ensure that you get the maximum value from this meeting.
From concept to creation in just 4 steps
You will now meet with Dion in person at your property. The type of consultation you will have will depend very much on how long you intend to live in this particular property. If you only intend to live in this property for 3 to 7 years then you will most likely be undertaking a Verbal Advice Consultation which can be up to one and a half hours long. Click here for more information or to make an enquiry.
If you intend living in your home for 10 years or longer then you will probably have chosen to have a Lifestyle Assessment done. This is a longer consultation – up to two and a half hours long – as this consultation looks beyond your short term lifestyle needs to create a home design that will suit you for many years to come. Click here for more information or to make an enquiry.
If you are purchasing a property then our Pre-purchase Verbal Design Advice Consultation will ensure you are heading down the right path with one and half hours to explore the design potential of this property and building budgets needed to execute the tasks ahead. Click here for more information or to make an enquiry.
Dion is not only a gifted architect he is also a registered builder giving him the unique ability to design the perfect home to suit your lifestyle. Depending on the consultation you have chosen Dion may:
- Look closely at your lifestyle needs
- Discuss your design ideas
- Offer expert design solutions that may better suit your budget/needs
- Assess your budgets and give a rough estimate of cost
- Assess over capitalisation and undercapitalisation
- Give you a ballpark indication of approval process & timelines
Once everyone is in agreement, and are happy for Dion Seminara Architecture to advance your project, you will then be offered a standard agreement to sign so that Dion can proceed with the sketch design of your home.
NOTE: A small investment is involved in your Verbal Advice Service or Lifestyle Assessment which covers the expert advice that Dion will be providing you. This investment will be credited against your Sketch Design investment should you proceed to that stage immediately after this Advice Service. Also please note that a Lifestyle Assessment is similar to the Verbal Advice Consultation outlined above however there is a far greater focus on exploring your lifestyle needs. It is a longer consultation and as a result attracts a higher fee.
The Dion Seminara Architecture Advantage:
By choosing to have Dion Seminara design your home you’re guaranteed to get the best outcome. Unlike drafts people and so called building designers we take the time to explore every option for your home, rather than cut and pasting or rehashing previous designs or taking the easy way out and simply designing the first thing that comes to mind. As a result of our great designs the value of your project will be significantly enhanced financially and in terms of overall liveability. Our designs may also offer you significant savings on the total cost of your project and will offer you life long saving with regard to the running cost of your home.
Please note that although there are 3 stages to this step as outlined below you are not obligated to use our services for all three steps. You can if you wish only engage us for step 2a if that better suits your individual needs.
2a: Sketch Design Service
This is the point where you begin to see your dreams take shape as we combine Building Architecture + Interiors + Landscape to create a lifestyle enhancing design for your home.
At the start of this concept stage of the process we create a sketch design based on the design brief that was agreed upon during your one on one consultation. As part of this process you will receive:
- Measured drawings of your existing home (only if renovating)
- Survey of your block ensuring we have the correct levels (completed by an external consultant)
- Sketch design floor plans
- Internal concept illustrations (subject to your project needs)
- External concept illustrations (subject to your project needs)
- A detailed written report with our opinion as to the building cost, an outline of proposed materials, project timelines and much more
Once this stage is completed we will then present the design to you.
After you have spent some time reviewing our proposal, we will invite you to progress to Step 2b and beyond depending on your needs. If you are agreeable to move forward we will ask you to sign off on our client/architect agreement. We will then complete any concept revisions as needed before moving onto the next phase – Step 2b creating your final Detailed Design.
2b: Detailed Design Service (including concept revisions)
As the name suggests, this phase is where we make any alterations and/or concept revisions to the initial sketch design and create a detailed final design of your project. Your design will now have been fully refined to give you the exact visual and lifestyle goals that you set out to achieve.
Once completed we will present this for your review along with our extent of works report which includes a breakdown of:
- A general overview of the work to be undertaken
- Type and style of flooring and/or floor coverings
- Type and style of wall materials & finish
- Type and style of roof and roofing materials
- Type and style of windows and/or window screens
- Type and style of doors & door fittings
- Wardrobes, cupboards and any other cabinetry
- A detailed electrical schedule indicating placement of power points, light fittings etc.
- A detailed plumbing schedule indicating the number and placement of taps, drains, vanities etc.
- Extent and type of painting required
- A list of Prime Cost and Provisional Sum items
After your review we will arrange the independent estimate of cost.
2c: Development Application (if required)
Once we have presented the cost estimate to you, we will then complete any additions required for your development application. We will co-ordinate and instruct our town planner on your behalf. Once this is complete we will co-ordinate the submission to the relevant local authority and assist in the management of the application through to approval.
Please note that depending on your needs there are potentially 6 stages to this step as outlined below.
3a: Building Application Drawings
The next step is to prepare your building application drawings. Your building application drawings are required in order to gain building approval.
3b: Building Approval and Certification
We will do everything to ensure that your project is approved and certified, including lodging of all relevant paperwork and arranging for any required inspections. We will take care of this for you; you will not need to worry about a thing.
3c: Detailed Construction Drawings
Your detailed construction drawings are the drawings that your builders will be using during construction and are therefore vital to the success of your project. Yet not all companies provide the level of detail that is required to ensure accurate quoting and ease of construction.
A lack of detail can lead to costly mistakes which is why we take the time to ensure that your construction drawings contain not only a high degree of detail, but also precise specifications.
Your detailed drawings will typically consist of full dimensioned small and large scaled drawings, along with detailed written information that covers materials, relevant details and construction directions. It may also include some provisional sums to outline budget allowances for particular items.
3d: Interior Design (if required)
We offer a complete and integrated design service which includes an in house comprehensive interior design service. As part of this service we will work with you in order to design the perfect kitchen, bathrooms and ensuites.
Whether you would like to ‘build in’ your entertainment unit; fit out a cellar; create a BBQ area or an outdoor kitchen, we have the solutions and the skills to supply the design, all perfectly detailed, to ensure all parts of your home blend seamlessly together.
We can also assist you with a complete colour scheme, as well as helping with selections on everything from tiles and plumbing fittings and fixtures right down to light fittings and window furnishings. No matter what your needs, we can supply you with a complete interior design package, or simply components of this service depending on your requirements.
3e: External Works / Landscape Design (if required)
From small yards to big yards your external space is just as important as the interior of your home. As part of our sketch design process we will consider all space within the boundaries of your site.
In this service we will detail those elements which make up your space. This could include determination of grassed areas, paved areas, garden areas or a pool zone; an outdoor entertainment zone or a BBQ space. We detail each area so that your builder will then be able to construct these parts in perfect unison with your home.
Things like fencing, screening, garden edging, gatehouses, water-storage units, solar collection units, landscape stairs, water features, driveways and paths are all covered as part of this service. At Dion Seminara Architecture we understand that it all counts when creating a lifestyle home that will work for you.
3f: Interior decoration
We can also arrange for an interior decorator to meet with you to assist you in selecting the most suitable furnishings for your home. You may also wish to meet with our garden design consultant in order to ensure your garden area is completed with the most appropriate plant types and that they are laid out in the most appropriate arrangement. If you require either of these services we are only too happy to organise these on your behalf.
(Please note that there are 2 stages to this step as outlined below)
Our contract administration service ensures a stress free build for your project, allowing you to relax and enjoy seeing your project come to life.
4a: Contract Administration
Our contract tendering stage is the first part of this thorough process and includes :
- Source a number of suitable qualified builders (not all builders are suited to all projects)
- Invite each builder to tender on your project
- Negotiate with each builder to ensure that you receive the most competitive price and completion time
- Provide you with a detailed review of each tender
- Negotiate your building contract on your behalf
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT BUILDING CONTRACTS:
In our opinion the Master Builders Standard Residential Contract or HIA residential contract does not adequately cater for Retention, Liquidated Damages or correction of Defects. Furthermore Payments as outlined within this agreement are not in line with what we would recommend. You are not obligated to sign a Master Builders Standard Residential Contract. The Contracts that we use at Dion Seminara Architecture on your behalf completely protect your interests. This is yet another way in which we add value and give our clients complete peace of mind.
4b: Architectural Building Contract Administration
Whilst you are not obligated to have us manage your building process, there are many advantages in having us oversee the construction on your behalf.
By this stage we will have had numerous meetings with you and gained a thorough understanding of your project as well as your individual needs. And because we created your design we are in the perfect position to manage your builder and ensure that everything is built to the correct specifications. If any challenges arise during the building process, we are able to immediately deal with these and find the most economical solution on your behalf. As part of our contract management services we will:
- Personally oversee the work done on your project to ensure the highest standards are being achieved
- Arrange and conduct site visits to assess work done and overall progress
- Immediately relay any challenges back to you in plain English
- Deal with any issues that arise on your behalf
- Liaise with the builder and/or sub-contractors to ensure that you get the best possible outcome
- Ensure that all materials used are as specified in the contract
- Deal with all the financial affairs of your contract including assessing payment claims and assessing all variations
- Assess and advise on any proposed time extensions
- Manage With Holding Retention which is a great security for you
- Deal with any maintenance issues or faults during the maintenance period
Building can be a stressful affair, but with our contract management service we handle all of the stressful elements for you, allowing you to simply enjoy the experience.
5: Final Inspection
During the defect liability period (typically 6 months) we come back to check on your building project in order to ensure nothing unforeseen has occurred during this time. If there is anything needing attention we request the builder to complete the works and then once complete we issue our final certificate. From this point onwards the standard builders warranty as managed by the Building Services Authority takes effect in order to warrant the structure of your home for the next 6 years.
At Dion Seminara Architecture we are committed to providing you with a complete service that will give you total piece of mind. Make an enquiry to find out how we can help you with your specific Project.